UN: Indonesia Needs Vast Humanitarian Assistance

   •    03 Oktober 2018 11:42 WIB
Central Sulawesi Earthquake
UN: Indonesia Needs Vast Humanitarian Assistance
Indonesian soldiers walk past a business centre that was damaged by the tsunami in Palu. (Photo: AFP).

Geneva: The United Nations (UN) warns about the needs of vast humanitarian assistance in Central Sulawesi. Survivors and rescue teams still searching for victims.
Almost 200,000 people want urgent help, the UN's humanitarian office said, among them tens of thousands of children, with an estimated 66,000 homes destroyed or damaged by the 7.4-magnitude quake and the tsunami it spawned.
Survivors are battling thirst and hunger, with food and clean water in short supply, and local hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of injured.
"The sense from the teams all working there... is one of real frustration,"  said UN's humanitarian office, Jens Laerket told reporters in Geneva late Tuesday.

"There are still large areas of what might be the worst-affected areas that haven't been properly reached, but the teams are pushing, they are doing what they can," he added.

The Indonesia-based ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance said that more body bags were 'urgently' needed as fears grow that decomposing corpses could provide a breeding ground for deadly diseases.
The Indonesian military is leading the rescue effort, but  international NGOs also now have teams on the ground in Palu.
International aid offers have picked up since Jakarta asked for help. Late Tuesday the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund said it was releasing $15 million in aid.
"The Government of Indonesia is experienced and well-equipped in managing natural disasters, but sometimes, as with all other countries, outside help is also needed," Mark Lowcock, the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Australia also announced it was sending a medical team to the disaster zone and was providing an additional $5 million in aid. (AFP)